Nothing like the previous books that Ashwin Sanghi has written Sialkot Saga is a partition story, takes you back in time. The book revolves around two people who are bound together by an ancient secret which is rooted in Pakistan (Sialkot) Having extensively read partition literature in my college years this truly was an engaging read, it lacked the in depth detailing but then this is a very different kind of literature and for a work of fiction coming from one of the most celebrated Indian writers, this truly was a fun read.
The book opens with the partition of India in 1947 where a train enters Amritsar, it carries with it tell tale signs of blood & gore, reeling under the shock of history that was just being made. The track did not show any signs of survivors but the station constable chanced upon a lone survivor: a boy, and hides him to safety.
This is not the first time the land has seen bloodshed of this intensity. In 250 BC, in Pataliputra, King Ashoka’s after having satiated his thirst for power, is disillusioned having witnessed the bloodbath that he had unleashed. He creates a society of nine men who were entrusted to guard a secret, which is to be passed on to the right person when the time comes.
Years on, two young boys, one in Mumbai and one in Kolkata, grow up to share similar course in life: successful, smart and rich and each has secrets that they must guard. Unaware by them, both are a part of the bigger secret that binds their life together, secret that was formulated years back.
This has been one of those easy reads, engaging to say the least. A lil editing would surely have helped but if you overlook that it is one book you will enjoy reading!
Thumbs up from me!